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Home FEATURES Anthony Michael Sneed Interview

Anthony Michael Sneed Interview
Written by Daniel Rolnik   
Friday, 08 July 2011 15:32
The Shooting Gallery here in San Francisco opens Grand Illusion, work by Anthony Michael Sneed Saturday, July 9th 7-11pm and runs through July 30th. In addition to paintings and handmade wooden object installations, Sneed will be releasing a print with a portion of the proceeds being donated to the San Francisco LGBT Community Center. Daniel Rolnik interviews Sneed covering his process, his musical past and how he was once part of a Christian cult. Featured here in this interview is some recent work and previous works.

Do you sketch everything out before you paint it?

I do it all in the computer.


The print with a portion of the proceeds being donated to the San Francisco LGBT Community Center

What program do you use?

Photoshop. I could probably do it in illustrator way better, but illustrator and I don’t get along.

How do you transfer the sketches from the computer onto canvass?

I don’t mean to sound like a geek, but it involves a series of math that I have to do. There’s a tool in Photoshop under the analysis menu called record measurements, where you can record each pixel. I lasso one row of pixels and it tells me how many pixels it is. Let’s say it measures 256px across in Photoshop and my actual canvass is 55.5 inches wide. I’d divide the two numbers; find out how big each pixel is, and then make custom rulers out of tape that equal those measurements. I make an x/y axis and cover the piece in tape - I don’t grid it out in pencil. I use an x-acto to cut the lines out on the x/y axis, pull it out, and paint it in. Eventually, I got to the point where I was making them like a manual screen-print, I would see where the color would be and paint huge blotches to save me a lot of time. It’s all math.

Wouldn’t it be easier to use a projector?

The lines wouldn’t be perfect because all types of weird shit can happen to lenses since they can get bumped or curved.

Is it true that you found out about the horror film you were in, Bad Biology, from craigslist?

That’s a lie. This girl I was hooking up with at the time had this TV show on the style network and was friends with the rapper R.A. Thornurn who was the produer and co-writer of Bad Biology and I knew of him since I was doing hip-hop music at the time, believe it or not. Anyways she asked me if I wanted to audition and I thought I’d give it a try even though I didn’t really think I’d get it, but I ended up getting the role which was cool.

What was your rapper name?

Chief Sneed. I’ve had like 7 different names and they’re all bad.

Did you take all of your rap offline?

Hell yeah. You can actually find some beats I produced for a record that we put Jay Z vocals over - which everyone and their mother has already done. Rob Swift from the X-ecutioners did all the cuts on it, which is cool. It’s called Native American Gangster because the vocals were taken from the American Gangster record that Jay Z did and the fact that I’m a quarter Cherokee Indian. My family lives on a reservation in North Carolina.

Did you go to college?

I went to the audio-engineering school SAE in New York for about 9 months.


Anthony Sneed

Do you still make beats?

No, but I did have a score composed by my friend for this show.

Are you going to have any video game pieces at Shooting Gallery?

I kind of retired the video games. I had a run with it and I think it’s good, but I can’t really see the ceiling being much taller than what it was…Maybe in a couple years I’ll revisit it, but right now this work is the kind of stuff I want on my wall – which is my new barometer.

Do you think it’s important to create an immersive experience in a gallery?

Fuck yeah man, if you’re going to put on a show you should put on a show…I’ve seen shows where people just throw their art on the wall, that’s cool, but you have so much room to do whatever you want and you should really utilize it if you can.

Are you going to make prints to sell at the show?

We’re doing a release with Paper Monster where all the proceeds go to charity.

Have you always been a painter?

I didn’t start painting until January 2009... I did music the whole time and then the movie [Bad Biology] in 2006, but I was around a lot of artists and it brought me back to when I was a kid. I used to want to be an artist or an architect, and everyday after school my cousins and I would draw the characters in Wizard magazine. I’m very competitive so I was always trying to be the best drawer at my school, but by the time I hit my sophomore year I was just taken over by music…That was the best thing that ever happened to me because I don’t have the influence of art school. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but the way I think of art right now is kind of juvenile – it’s like I’m discovering shit and I’m really excited about it all. I’m not jaded and concerned with what works and what doesn’t. I learnt a lot about taste from hanging out with Frank [Henelotter] and making bad music. It was all a really good crash course in how to present things.

Did you really grow up in a Christian cult?

I swear to God, no pun intended. I lived there for a little over a half a year. My Uncle lived there in Missouri and it was fucked up. It was like a low-brow cult though, they weren’t trying to kill anybody or anything like that. It was born again Christian shit where you move in and work for them because they give you a place to live and food but they basically control all of your finances.

How did you escape?

I cried and had my mom come pick me up. She sent me to live there because I was getting in trouble.

Were you caught smoking weed?

Not even. I didn’t even smoke weed until I was 24. I didn’t have my first drink until I was 21 and still haven’t had a beer or smoked a cigarette and I won’t. I don’t have anything against it, I’m all for it, but if I did it I just wouldn’t get anything done.

Who is one of your favorite comedians?

Dennis Miller, but if you don’t have a bead of intelligence in your head 99% of his material is going to go over your head because 75% of it goes over mine haha. I like his old shit the best, back around ’89 before he was all right-wing Republican.

What’s up with that?

I don’t know. It’s really conflicting for me to listen to him because he has this record called the Off-White Album that’s one of the best comedy recordings I’ve ever heard.

What’s your best craigslist story?

I don’t really like going to music festivals, but I went to Bonnaroo with a friend and a bunch of people that he knew. There were two guys that from New York that were giving me shit because I was born in New Jersey - they were bro’s and annoying as hell. The last day of the festival we’re sitting down in the RV and I was making a joke that we should go on craigslist to see if there were any chicks around to hook up with, since none of us had gotten laid on the trip. And then one of those dudes said stone cold “I already checked”. Out of nowhere I said to him “You put a post online didn’t you?”. And there was silence. I said “You did! You put an ad on craigslist.” So he goes “You’ll never find it.” I said “WHAT!” and pulled out my iPhone right then and there and fucking searched. The first one I clicked on said mm4ww, two men for two women, it was like a fucking essay with all these details. I went to the middle of the page and it said “We are two guys from New York” and as soon as I saw that I read it aloud and everybody sitting around us started dying because it was obvious it was those two bro’s. Meanwhile, the two guys were silent as I kept reading “Two really chill guys looking for two girls or one girl to share a good experience with in a tent or Winnebago or just under the stairs.” We were all laughing so hard we could barely breathe and then I got to the bottom of the message where they posted pictures of their cocks!

The next day when we were cleaning out the RV, one of the dudes found some Trojan Magnums I had bought at a Wal-Mart and asked “Whose are these?”, so I told them they were mine really casual. He tried to joke with me “Magnums huh?” but I replied “Yeah, you don’t need them because I know how small your dick is” hahaha So those two bro’s didn’t give us any problems after that. We berated them so bad, the ride home was golden.

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contact FF

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Serge Gay Jr. @Spoke Art

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NYCHOS Mural on Ashbury and Haight

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Sun Milk in Vienna

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Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

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Jeremy Fish Solo Show in Los Angeles

Jeremy Fish opens Hunting Trophies tonight, Saturday April 5th, at the Los Angeles based Mark Moore Gallery. The show features new work from Fish inside the "hunting lodge" where viewers climb inside the head of the hunter and explore the history of all the animals he's killed.


The Albatross and the Shipping Container

Beautiful piece entitled "The Albatross and the Shipping Container", Ink on Paper, Mounted to Panel, 47" Diameter, by San Francisco based Martin Machado now on display at FFDG. Stop in Saturday (1-6pm) to view the group show "Salt the Skies" now running through April 19th. 2277 Mission St. at 19th.


The Marsh Barge - Traveling the Mississippi River from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to quit my job, move out of my house, leave everything and travel again. So on August 21, 2013 I pushed a canoe packed full of gear into the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, along with four of my best friends. Exactly 100 days later, I arrived at a marina near the Gulf of Mexico in a sailboat.


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